Judith Barrow’s book Living in the Shadows is the third in her wonderful series set in Lancashire and Wales. I reviewed the first book and also the series as a whole. I can highly recommend all the books, and whilst you could read Living in the Shadows as a stand alone, I suggest that you start with the first two books in the series .
For all of February the book is at a discounted price on Amazon Monthly Deal:
http://amzn.to/1nejS23 at 99p
About Living in the Shadows.
The last to be released in the series, Living in the Shadows, is set in 1969 and is the story of the next generation of the Howarth and Schormann families. It is a time of Mods and Rockers, the Beatles, flower-power and free love. But for Linda Howarth, Ellen and Ted’s daughter, and Richard Schormann, Mary and Peter’s son, the shadows from the past return to haunt them.
Mary Schormann is living quietly in Wales with her ex-POW husband, Peter, and her teenage twins, Richard and Victoria. Her niece, Linda Booth, is a nurse – following in Mary’s footsteps – and works in the maternity ward of her local hospital in Lancashire. At the end of a long night shift, a bullying new father visits the maternity ward and brings back Linda’s darkest nightmares, her terror of being locked in. Who is this man, and why does he scare her so? There are secrets dating back to the war that still haunt the family, and finding out what lies at their root might be the only way Linda can escape their murderous consequences.
My Review of the Series.
A real and gritty portrayal of life during and in the aftermath of the Second World War.
I read all three books in the series over the summer and each one brought that time in our history to life. Living in the Shadows brought closure to some of the mysteries and events that took place in the previous two decades. But, it also opened the door to more challenges and story lines for the main characters that are now parents and grand-parents themselves.
The books are exceptionally well researched and brought each decade vividly to life. The story unfolds seamlessly from book to book and I was totally immersed in the characters and their complex but believable lives.
Those who lived through the Second World War as adults are now passing away and with them the oral history of the time. As we enjoy our modern amenities and technology it is hard to imagine living in coal fire heated rooms, heading out to outside toilets on freezing nights and being grateful for a meagre diet that might include a small piece of cheese and a couple of rashers of bacon a week.
That era was a gateway to the future and for the young of the day it was a confusing time. Their parents had been born in Victorian Britain and had suffered two major conflicts that had taken its toll physically and mentally. Times were very tough for most of the population and after the war ended that continued for the next two decades. This exposed both generations to bigotry, hatred and desperate hardships.
We have a fascination with serial dramas such as Coronation Street and Eastenders for a number of reasons but primarily because we identify with the characters and all aspects of their lives. Most of us in our 50s and 60s have grown up with these long running sagas and sometimes it is hard not to feel that certain individuals are part of our own family.
This is how I feel about Judith Barrow’s families in the three books so far. I may not remember the war years but my mother who was in her 20s at the time recalled them vividly. Her family were luckier than most but she talked of others in the village who struggled to survive in pre-benefit Britain and who lost loved ones to the war both on the front and when they returned home.
The story is compelling and Mary who is the focal character brings a combination of strength and vulnerability that is endearing. She is also the older sister we all want to turn to in times of trouble and is always there for us. Even if we do irritate her beyond reason from time to time.
What other readers are saying about Living in the Shadows
Wonderful end to the saga By CathyR on 16 Nov. 2015
The real 1960s…. By Terry Tyler, author on 29 Aug. 2015
A Book that has everything…. By Jo Lambert on 13 November 2015
Gripping climax to a trilogy By Hilary Shepherd on 3 October 2015
Other two books in the series.
Buy all of Judith’s books
My Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Judith-Barrow/e/B0043RZJV6
About Judith Barrow
Judith Barrow is originally from Saddleworth, near Oldham, has lived in Pembrokeshire, Wales, for thirty four years.
She has BA (Hons) in Literature with the Open University, a Diploma in Drama from Swansea University and a MA in Creative Writing with the University of Wales Trinity St David’s College, Carmarthen. She has had short stories, plays, reviews and articles, published throughout the British Isles and has won several poetry competitions. She has completed three children’s books. She is also a Creative Writing tutor.
Pattern of Shadows was inspired by Judith’s research into Glen Mill, a disused cotton mill in Oldham, Lancashire, and its history of being the first German POW camp in the country.
‘My mother was a winder in a cotton mill and, well before the days of Health and Safety, I would go to wait for her to finish work on my way home from school.
I remember the muffled boom and then the sudden clatter of so many different machines as I stepped through the small door, the sound of women singing and shouting above the noise, the colours of the cotton and cloth – so bright and intricate.
Above all I remember the smell: of oil, grease – and in the storage area. The lovely smell of the new material stored in bales.
When I thought about Glen Mill I wondered what life would have been like for all those men imprisoned there. I realised how different their days must have been from my memories of a mill and I knew I wanted to write about that.’
Connect to Judith on her websites and Social Media
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/judith.barrow.3/about
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Thanks for dropping by and please help promote this discount for Living in the Shadows for Judith so that the word gets out.. thanks Sally